This past Monday, Nigeria opened a billion dollar, Chinese-built port in the capital city of Lagos. The Lekki Deep Sea Port is expected to ease congestion across other ports in Nigeria, as these large steps continue to take the west African nation a regional powerhouse in the transshipment market.
The site, which has been predominantly built to handle cargo in transit to other destinations, has the opportunity to create lots of new jobs in the country. “This project could create at least 200,000 jobs for those jobs mean income,” said Chinese ambassador to Nigeria Cui Jianchun.
‘’Today is really a special day for China and Nigeria, and Nigeria and China, and I think that is very, very important, this is a transformative project, a game changer project, not only for the engine of the economy for Nigeria, for West Africa,” the ambassador went on to say in a statement on Monday.
Nigeria’s current president, President Muhammadu Buhari has made the advancement of infrastructure one of his administrations core principals due to the economic benefits reaped. As he faces reelection next month, the opening of a port that could create 200,000 jobs is certainly well timed.
China is the largest bilateral lender to Nigeria, and many other countries throughout the African continent, particularly for upgrading infrastructure like roadway systems, ports, and public forums like stadiums. The China Harbour Engineering Company and Singapore-based Tolaram Group own 75% of the port, with the remaining 25% of the shares split between the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority.
Nigeria has grown as a shipping hub in West Africa for many years now. Starting in 2006, Nigeria has been an early adopter of technological advancements with eyes to ease port congestion with systems like the e-call up system.
Looking to the future, this port in Lagos could further deepen Nigeria’s roots in the shipping industry. Since really adopting the ports of Lagos in 2006, Nigerian GDP has dipped by over 5%. But with further investment from nations like China, the forecast is looking up for Nigeria.